When it comes to offshore fishing in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, the different tuna varieties are a top choice for anglers to target. The blackfin tuna and the bigeye tuna feature two significant characteristics. One, they are strong fighters, and two, they are excellent to eat. With as many different types of tuna, it can be confusing to understand the differences. Is a black fin tuna same as a big eye.
So Is a Black Fin Tuna Same As a Big Eye
The answer is no. The blackfin tuna and the bigeye tuna are two different types of tuna in the same family.
How to Identify a Blackfin Tuna From a Bigeye Tuna
The blackfin tuna and the bigeye tuna are easy to distinguish from each other. Each has distinguishing features.
Identifying a Blackfin Tuna
A blackfin tuna is dark in color along the dorsal fin, in fact, it is nearly black. Beneath the black is a bronze line that extends from head to tail before fading to a silver-white down through the belly.
When it comes to size, the blackfin tuna is relatively small—Blackfin range from a couple of pounds up to 40 pounds.
Identifying a Bigeye Tuna
Big eye tuna can be confused with yellowfin tuna but does have specific characteristics. The top of the fish is blue before turning white to silver for the remainder of the body. Unlike the yellowfin tuna, the bigeye tuna does not have a yellow line. As for its name, the eye is more prominent, but its larger size may be difficult to recognize.
The bigeye tuna can range between a few pounds all the way up to 400 pounds. They grow much bigger than blackfin.
What is The Range of a Blackfin Tuna And a Bigeye Tuna
The tuna family is common along the entire east coast of the United States. They all reside in offshore waters up and down the coast.
What is The Range of a Blackfin Tuna
Anglers can catch blackfin tuna from South Florida up through Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
What is The Range of a Bigeye Tuna
Big eye tuna have a similar range to that of a blackfin tuna. The bigeye extends slightly farther north into Maine and down through South Florida.
How do Anglers Catch Blackfin Tuna and Big Eye Tuna
Although the blackfin tuna and bigeye tuna are in the same family, they are targeted by anglers differently. Both types of tuna are strong fighters, so be prepared for a brawl.
How to Catch Blackfin Tuna
The blackfin tuna is one of the most frequently caught tunas on the east coast. Anglers troll offshore waters with light trolling equipment. Lures rigged with ballyhoo, strips, or just plain feathers will generate a strike. Keep an eye out of schools at the surface feeding on baits.
How to Catch Bigeye Tuna
Interestingly enough, the big eye tuna is not highly sought after by anglers. The primary reason fisherman do not target them is because they remain deep in the water column. However, they have been caught on stout rods and reels by deep trolling or accidentally while chumming for other tuna species.
Are Blackfin Tuna and Bigeye Tuna Good to Eat
Only a few species of the tuna family are not as enjoyable to eat. Both the blackfin tuna and the bigeye tuna are excellent.
As a result of a big eye tuna size versus a blackfin tuna, the flesh is typically cut into steaks, whereas blackfin comes in loins. Although the meat is cut differently, the tunas can be cooked in the same ways.
When preparing blackfin or big eye, it can be served raw or as seared tuna. Follow a tuna steak recipe or ahi tuna recipe.
So a Blackfin Tuna is Not The Same As a Big Eye Tuna
The next time you’re offshore fishing in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina, you will be able to determine the difference between a bigeye tuna and a blackfin tuna. It is unlikely that many bigeye tuna will be encountered on the east coast but highly likely that blackfin will be part of your daily catch when